Central European Startup Awards celebrates local entrepreneurship and diversity in business

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Last week, the best startups and ecosystem supporters in Central Europe were announced and awarded at the CESA Grand Finale in Vienna.

The annual event counts as the biggest no-pitch, no-conference startup festival in Central Europe with the collaboration of 10 countries, 30+ volunteers from the ecosystem and this year 1000+ nominated startups and entrepreneurs, who received over 20,000 votes on the festival’s public voting preceding the announcement of the winners.

CESA Co-Founder Peter Kovacs stated: “These days every startup ecosystem is focusing on the global hubs: the Bay Area, London, Berlin, and so on. That makes a lot of sense as of the massive concentration of capital and markets at these places. But at the same time, we tend to forget that we as CEE region, after hundreds of years of wars and being ruined by empires, we finally live in a 100+ milion open market and for mainly historical reasons, we simply do not know about each other, and so we miss so much potential for synergy and cooperations. The mission of CESAwards is to get people of the startup ecosystems of these countries physically together, to celebrate our successes together and use that elation to make new friendships.”

In regards to the future of the initiative, Peter stated: “We are planning to keep up with the growth: going deeper in the already existing 2 European regions and starting up new ones – just like Asean Startup Awards that is coming right after CESAwards2015, with the Grand Finale organized in Bangkok, Thailand next March,”.

The winners of 8 categories are as follows:

-Most influential woman: Melania Galea (Romania)
A passionate programmer graduated from Computer Science in Babes-Bolyai University. She is a master of Machine Learning and Robotics. She built a robot out of an iRobot body and a Lego NXT  arm that would wipe the dust on a plain surface and detect obstacles.
Now she is running her own startup called Catwalk15.

-Best investor: Speedinvest (Austria)
Speedinvest not only invests capital in world-class talent, but also provides the entrepreneurial know-how, and operational experience that is rare outside of a place like Silicon Valley, but is so essential to building great companies. Speedinvest is a widely acclaimed investment house in the CE region, with a number of exits and  great investment portfolio.

-Best co-working space: Loffice (Hungary)
Loffice is a new-generation office located where the creative and the business spheres coincide; a  place where the means of working, networking and relaxing are provided, a place where everyone  finds the space best suited to their activity. Started from Budapest, where they have a number of  offices, they are also active part of the Vienna coworking scene also.

-Best user experience: Vitastiq (Croatia)
Vitastiq is the world’s first personal device for checking your vitamin and mineral status using a smartphone. The app together with the measuring device they provide is a great example of well-thought out and useful design that is not just simple and beautiful but also is very purposeful.

-Best fintech startup: Oradian (Croatia)
Oradian is a disruptive service, radically lowering costs & enabling scalability for financial institutions  serving the base of the economic pyramid.

-Best social impact startup: MIRA Rehab (Romania)
MIRA Rehab is a company with the mission to motivate people to get better in a faster, easy and fun way. MIRA is a product designed to make physical therapy fun and convenient for patients recovering from surgery or injury. The system transforms existing physical therapy exercises into video-games, and uses an external sensor to track and assess patient compliance. The games are motivating and created for different pathologies in order to respond and adapt to patients’ needs.

-Best cloud/data application: Codeship (Austria)
Codeship is a hosted continuous delivery platform. It helps to release software quickly, automatically and multiple times a day. It is building for the builders, making developers across the world more productive. Codeship quickly became of a weapon of choice for development team across the world and is highly praised by the community.

-Startup of the year: Runtastic (Austria)
Runtastic is a maker of health & fitness apps, well known for it’s GPS running app, with more than  140 million downloads and over 60 million registered users. Runtastic was acquired by Adidas earlier in August, 2015, thus the company and the team have a very optimistic and challenging road in front of them.

-People’s choice: HUB ONEZERO (Romania)
HUB ONEZERO is a mixture of co-working space, event venue & start-up incubator in Brasov, Romania. With great community obviously, since the won the people’s choice with a significant lead in the public votes.